FACT CHECK: Did The Obama Foundation Tweet An Image Of George Floyd Before His Death?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims that the Obama Foundation tweeted an image of George Floyd eight days before his death.

Verdict: False

The Obama Foundation did not tweet an image of Floyd on May 17. The foundation changed its Twitter card image after Floyd’s death, and that made the image in tweets linking to its website from before his death show Floyd’s likeness.

Fact Check: 

Social media has become replete with misinformation related to the protests and riots that have occurred in response to the death of Floyd, a black man who died while in the custody of a Minneapolis police officer. (RELATED: Are Two Of The Former Police Officers Involved In George Floyd’s Death In-Laws?)

In this case, multiple Facebook users claim the Obama Foundation tweeted a picture of a protest sign bearing Floyd’s likeness eight days before his death on May 25. Many of the posts feature a May 17 tweet from the Obama Foundation that says, “Did you tune in to @BarackObama’s commencement message last night? Here are a few of our favorite watch parties.” Along with that message, the tweet appears to contain a link to the Obama Foundation website that displays an image of the protest sign.

But, contrary to what the Facebook post suggests, the Obama Foundation didn’t tweet the image of the Floyd poster prior to his death. The foundation actually updated its Twitter card image after Floyd’s death, and that changed the image appearing on previous tweets linking to the website, according to the Associated Press. Websites can use code to designate a Twitter card image that appears in tweets that include links to those said sites.

The Internet Archive shows that the Obama Foundation website contained code on May 17 that designated a photo of former President Barack Obama in commencement robes as the Twitter card image. A spokesperson for the Obama Foundation told Snopes that the image of the poster with Floyd’s face was first used on the site on May 31, and the Internet Archive shows screen captures of that image appearing on the website starting June 1.

The Twitter card image appears to have changed since then, with tweets linking to the Obama Foundation’s website featuring its logo as of press time.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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